My attempt to distill the opinions on the Floyd incident.

Something recently occurred to me and I think it might be beneficial to redefine the two intractable sides here. We all saw the same thing: a cop knelt on a face-down, handcuffed man for almost nine minutes despite his pleas that he couldn’t breath, until he did in fact stop breathing, lost control of his bladder, and died face-down in the street in a puddle of his own piss…

We all watched the same video ad nauseam. Yet, there are two diametrically opposed takes on the situation, even after the case has been adjudicated. If I may, I believe this comes down to differing interpretations of the correct role of police in our society. On the one side are those who believe cops are “officers of the peace” who should observe a modicum of restraint in most circumstances. They see that video and see a man clearly abusing his power and authority.

On the other side are those who believe that the role of the police is to protect but not restrain them, and to restrain but not protect the other. In previous threads, they have identified Floyd as the other based on several attributes: he was accused of a petty crime and had previously committed others, he was resisting, he used drugs, etc. There was, of course, the most obvious attribute, but that was not specifically discussed.

We are in disagreement because the former side saw a cop operating well outside his job description, and the latter saw a cop doing exactly his job.

44 thoughts on “My attempt to distill the opinions on the Floyd incident.

  1. It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

    My view is that once the police set out to arrest someone, he is going to the station, The police can’t just give up because the subject fights back. If they do, a lot more will choose to fight and more will unavoidably come to harm.

    So, Chauvin and the other policemen’s initial use of force to subdue Floyd were justified. However, once resistance stopped, more care for Floyd’s safety was warranted.

    But that failure, while reason enough to fire Chauvin, simply wasn’t the cause of Floyd’s death. He died because his own exertions were more than his heart could take. The knee on the neck, as opposed to some other form of restraint, played no part in his demise.

    Further, there was nothing in Floyd’s appearance to warn the police of his cardiac fragility. He looked like a large, muscular, drugged-up but otherwise healthy man. There was nothing to warn the police he was likely to die.

    So, they were in a no win position. They couldn’t simply give up and let him go. but he was dying in their custody without their knowing it.

    FWIW, at the point Floyd lost consciousness, I doubt there was anything that could have been done to save him. By that time his decompensation had reached the point that it was irreversible.

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    1. Your rationale for why he is the other may be more nuanced (though, referring to a black man as “large, muscular, and drugged up” is old hat), but still all you’re saying is that it is correct and absolutely necessary that he be put in his place then and there, up to and including methods that resulted in his death.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        It’s not about ‘putting someone in his place’ it’s about minimizing future risk.

        If police set the precedent that if you fight the police hard enough they will give up, the result will be more people will try to fight. and enough of those fights will escalate to deadly force that you will lose more lives.

        Either don’t arrest someone or they go to the station. No negotiations.

        The right way to avoid such confrontations would be to eliminate victimless crime laws and let police be peacekeepers and not morslity enforcers.

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          1. No, future risk that others, seeing Floyd avoid arrest by resisting will decide to do the same thing, leading to escalations that risk both police and suspect deaths.

            You cannot allow resisting arrest to succeed.

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          1. I was mostly talking about your continued references to his criminal record and drugs in his system.

            But ascribing disproportionate strength and/or a higher pain threshold to black men and boys is an old and well-documented trope.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. I have never raised the issue of criminal record.

            The drugs in his system are relevant medical fact. It’s not a value judgment, but they bear on the actual cause of death,

            And I didn’t say anything about disproportionate strength, I mentioned his appearance, which is all the police had to go one. Floyd did not LOOK LIKE someone on the precipice of spiraling heart failure.

            The police do not have detailed medical histories or the luxury of a physical exam before taking a criminal into custody.

            You see race and racism everywhere, but that’s your filter, not mine.

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          3. I don’t care if you’re a racist or not. We’re talking about a racist institution. Your particular prejudices are irrelevant. You asked specifically about your physical description of him and I responded to it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. And my physical description had no connection to race.

            In fact, race has nothing to do with my position on the trial.

            It is purely technical, not an endorsement of Chauvin’s actions, but Chauvin was not responsible for Floyd’s death.

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  2. “…cop doing exactly his job.”

    The victim was already restrained face down, cuffed behind his back and two other policemen were pressing or holding his back and legs down.

    So what was Chauvin doing that was exactly his job? Nine and a half minutes of begging that he could not breathe. Sorry, a few minutes less since Chauvin was kneeling on a dead man after a while. And he refused to allow a paramedic to tend to an obviously distressed man.

    I think it was the callous indifference that convicted Chauvin. Hand in pocket while pressing his neck, face and upper body into the pavement with about 90 lbs. of pressure concentrated on the neck. Hard to justify the need for that. And the length of time certainly takes the “split second life and death decision making” argument allowed police in dangerous or perceived as dangerous situations.

    And the jury agreed.

    Chauvin didn’t even convince the “Blue Wall” that he was correct in his behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Because the role of the police in society is protection of property and social control. They’ve been the shock troops of capital for every labor and civil rights movement back to their origins as slave patrols. Their job is to keep the system running as smoothly as possible, and fuck you up if you step out of line.

      I’m not saying it’s a good thing, that’s just my Occam’s razor analysis of the situation. I’m glad he was convicted, but I doubt it will change anything or bring about justice. Columbus cops just killed a 15 year old girl yesterday. Initial reports say SHE called them because there was a fight in front of her house.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my favorite quotes:

        ‘The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.’ Anatole France

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Because a citizen called the police to report a crime.

      When the police arrived, they found the perpetrator seriously intoxicated in the driver’s seat of a car.

      What were they supposed to do?

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          1. I did not say that. Issue him a summons if there really was a case to be made over the $20 bill. But do so respectfully. Is treating people respectfully and humanely too much to expect of the police?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You could make case if you did not find the suspect obviously intoxicated and sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. At that point, he is going to the station.

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  3. “The knee on the neck, as opposed to some other form of restraint, played no part in his demise.”

    Bullshit! The victim and the people at the scene ALL tried to tell the officer that he was killing the victim with that knee on his neck. In his “exertions” to try to stay alive his heart failed but that does not mean that he killed himself. Duh!

    Has there EVER been a case of a black man being killed by police or a vigilante where you did not say that it was the victim’s fault? We have had far too many such cases and I cannot remember a single instance of your finding fault with the killers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Regardless of how it looked to people there, the medical evidence is clear.

    There was no damage to the cartilage rings of the trachea or larynx. It is impossible to collapse the airway without breaking them. There was no bruising to the neck or back.

    And most of all, he had an oxygen saturation of 98%. Hypoxia is down in the low 80s, asphyxia lower.

    So, whatever they thought they saw, the evidence says it was his struggle against the restraint, and not the form of the restraint, that killed him.

    Breona Taylor, OK, not a man but…

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    1. You keep going on and on about the airways. That is a straw man. If the killer had not knelt on his neck unmercifully for ten minutes he would not be dead. Period. That is what the evidence showed. That is what the jury who heard the evidence decided. That should be the end of the story. But oh no. You are smarter than the jurors. You know what happened and they don’t. And when the victim was crying and begging and was heard to say 20 times that he could not breathe he was lying. Have you no shame?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Floyd was claiming he could not breath before he was placed in the squad car the first time.

        Either he was trying to mislead the officers, or he was already in heart failure.

        You could literally lie in that position with the knee on the back of your neck for hours without placing a strain on your heart if you were not struggling against it.

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        1. …” he was already in heart failure.”

          And the officers on the scene should have recognized a medical emergency and called for EMT assistance ….and then allow them to assist, not stay on top of the individual until he stopped moving. And then for several minutes thereafter.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Absolutely. usually they put a door on them and piled the stones on that.

            But that resulted in hypoxia, not an oxygen saturation of 98%.

            That one fact blows up the prosecution’s cause of death.

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          2. Two things play into this. 1) Floyd had COVID confirmed postmortem. 2) even small drops of O2 Sat in Covid caused death at O2 levels beteen 94 and 98%.

            The numbers are small, but none had people kneeling on them.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Plus, the MN law on 2nd degree is contributory not cause. Had he shot him in the head, and he died three days later of heart failure, well…

            Liked by 1 person

        2. “Floyd was claiming he could not breath before”…

          Do you suffer from claustrophobia? I do and I can tell you from personal experience that the FEELING of not being able to breathe is real, whether I can actually breathe or not.

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          1. Yes, claustrophobia does get me. I used to be able to work under houses but no more.

            But again, there is a difference between FEELING you can’t breath and actually not being able to breath.

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          2. So telling someone who is kneeling on your body giving you the feeling of not being able to breathe means zero? If you find yourself in a situation of feeling like you cannot breathe, do you not remove yourself from that situation? Mr. Floyd was not given that ability. In fact, it was taken from him.

            And does that feeling not cause additional stress to your physiology? All contributing factors to his death and they were caused by the treatment received at the knee of Mr. Chauvin.

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  5. First of all, your description is a bunch of crap. Floyd was NOT face down nor face down with his face in his own piss. It is clear his head is to the side with mouth and nose unobstructed. He was fighting the police from square one while being detained for a crime. He was drugged up at the same time. These are just facts not some veiw of an “other”. I know you lefties love to be devisive while claiming to want unity but it is obvious you invite devisiveness with lies because you feel it helps your agenda. Your smug indifference to law and order is apparent in your indifference to enforcement of law, could care less about crime, unless it is against you, and your mass use of extreme violence in pursuit of your cause.

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    1. The careful reader will notice I’m actually advocating against mass violence. It is you and others on this board that are bending over backwards to support state murder.

      For a group that loves to bring up gulags and purges, I would have assumed you’d be better at recognizing extrajudicial executions when you see them on the evening news. Unless, of course, you feel GF was somehow inherently deserving of brutality, in which case I’ll refer you to my original comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. State murder??? LMAO at this left wing extremist characterization and claims of being against mass violence. BS Here’s a thought, don’t resist lawful arrest and you won’t find yourself in compromising situations or get hurt. Easy peasy. Get it?

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  6. One more thing: it’s entirely possible he had no idea the bill was fake. I worked at a bank for awhile and people would come in with counterfeits all the time. It was almost a daily occurrence. Some are high quality and difficult to notice unless you have one of those markers or a counting machine.

    So it’s entirely possible GF thought he was simply being harassed by police rather than subject to “legitimate” arrest. Just something to consider.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Then he should have obeyed the police and worked with them instead of fighting like a baby caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

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  8. As expert testimony went, the pulmonologist’s most damning observation was Chauvin’s toes come off the ground just before Floyd goes still. That means there was no way to divert his weight off Floyd’s neck. Full force.

    Chauvin is a sociopath.

    Liked by 1 person

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